Ukrainian foreign minister says talks underway to pursue grain exports bypassing Russia

Ukrainian foreign minister says talks underway to pursue grain exports bypassing Russia

There are active discussions by many countries to find alternative to grain deal, says Ukraine's foreign minister

By Firdevs Bulut Kartal

TORONTO (AA) - Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said on Tuesday Ukraine and other countries are holding talks to continue grain exports without Russia.

During a news conference at the UN headquarters, Kuleba said that "political will" is necessary to ensure supply of Ukrainian cereals to global markets, adding that it is important to deliver Ukrainian grain to global markets after Russia terminated the Black Sea Grain corridor deal.

"And if Russia withdrew from the initiative, then Ukraine, Türkiye and the United Nations or any other country or countries of the world could come up with their initiative, either to continue within the existing framework or to create a new model of deliveries," Kuleba said, emphasizing that it will not be easy.

Pointing out that the current situation cannot be sustained, Kuleba said, "We have to take risks. And we have to demonstrate that we can carry on without Russia."

There are "very active discussions" now to find an alternative to the deal, and the issue is being considered in different capitals and in UN headquarters, he said.

Kuleba added that not giving weapons to Ukraine would mean that the country would lose the war and become defenseless, regarding the thought of some UN member states that giving arms to Ukraine triggers the war.

The deal, initially signed in July of last year in Istanbul by Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine, was aimed at resuming grain exports from Ukrainian ports. These exports had been halted as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war which began in February 2022.

On May 18, the deal was extended for an additional 60 days, ensuring the continuation of grain exports under the agreement and averting a food crisis in the world.

EU leaders and leaders from the CELAC convened to discuss business and development topics in Brussels for a two-day EU-CELAC summit.

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